Chicago Bulls’ center Joakim Noah is having a fantastic season, helping to make up for the loss of Derrick Rose (again), leading the Bulls to a 43-32 record, currently good enough for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Noah’s teammates think he’s a strange guy, but that’s part of what makes so effective, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
“He’s different; he grew up different,” teammate Carlos Boozer said. “He’s a very free spirit and it works for him.”
It’s working for him better than ever now. Once a gangly, awkward tempest who famously commented during his pre-draft workout with the Bulls that he grew up a Knicks fan and “hated Michael Jordan,” Noah has come to symbolize all that is good about one of the NBA’s most selfless, resilient teams. Somehow, his swirling-dervish style has acquired refinement and precision. Incongruously, his privileged, prep-school, multi-continent upbringing has blended with a street-ball edge and bench-warmer work ethic to form the most unique combination of basketball skills and personality in the sport.
“He’s a weirdo,” teammate Taj Gibson said, making no effort to be funny — just telling the truth.
Noah is averaging 12.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.